We Need to Stop Relying on a Broken System
As I’m typing this, I’m getting live updates of the Parkland Shooting that took place February 14, 2018.
It feels like we’re in a cycle. Someone out there armed with a gun decides that today is the day they do something with it. They grab their weapon, head to either a school or public area (and sometimes private), and let loose. Bullets are released from the gun causing mass death.
If one person died from gun violence every now and then, labeling this as mass death would be a little over the top. However, we have lost over 1,500 lives to gun-related domestic terrorism.
After the shooting happens, everyone cries out. Hearts are broken. Families are disrupted. People are scared.
It wakes up the debate surrounding gun control laws. People cry guns don’t kill people, people kill people. Other people say how it’s too easy to obtain guns, which is why people are killing people with guns. It’s easier to get a gun than it is to buy Sudafed, lawn darts, and/or fireworks.
People argue for a couple of weeks until it simmers down until the next mass shooting.
When I was a little girl, I decided to run while holding my bike. I saw them do it on TV, and it looked like fun. I ran after my brother but tripped with my bike in tow. I skinned both my knee cap and rib cage to the point where it was bleeding through my clothes. It hurt like a mother, and all it took was one bad thing happening for me to never do it again. On top of not doing it again, I adopted knee pads and physically started wearing my helmet even when my mother wasn’t with me.
By the Las Vegas shooting, we had twenty-two mass shootings since 2011, yet nothing majorly has changed.
Tonight I see countless posts asking “How many times does this have to happen?”
I asked that until I realized it’s going to keep happening as long as we continue to rely on a system rooted and not ashamed of it’s dark, racist, xenophobic, and imperialistic past.
When I see another mass shooting, I have the same gut-wrenching feeling when I see a cop who murdered someone or committed an act of police brutality not being indicted. They walk free, after paid leave, and even support from around the country while someone is dead because of them.
It’s that feeling of disappointment, anger, fear (when will it happen to me?), but also an unhealthy and depressing sense of desensitized expectations.
I expect the cop to walk free.
I expect there to be no progress on stricter gun control laws.
I expect someone to die because our government, as is, does not have all of our best interests in mind.
As a black woman, I’m used to being disappointed in our country. I’m used to my country showcasing that they don’t care about not only my life but the other marginalized lives behind me. Gun violence can impact anyone of any race or background, and some of those backgrounds aren’t used the feeling marginalized people are used to when it comes to happenings in America.
Thus, the inherent shock every single time. The “How could people be so evil?!” every. Single. Time.
I’m not a government conspiracist. I will not sit here and just needlessly talk shit against the U.S government. Even if it wasn’t made for me, a black woman, then or now, I acknowledge that the way the government is set up is clever (i.e-- systems of checks and balances so one branch doesn’t get all of the power like that of a traditional monarchy). However, I will easily say that whatever it is that’s happening now and today is not working.
We need to stop relying on a system that does not have our best interest in mind.
Back during the revolutionary time period, we realized that the British did not have our best interests at heart so we, the people, fought against them.
I ask this sincerely, what good is it continually going to do to contact our congresspeople and representatives when they have a history of negative bipartisanship, meaning they’ll side with a party before they side with the actual needs of the people.
In some cases, yes. It works, but we can’t stop there. We can’t rely on that being the only method to change.
I don’t have all the answers. I’m not a political science buff or major. I’m just a black girl who is tired of seeing people die, regardless of skin color or background without justice or change the following suit.
I don’t know what the next step is. I don’t know what’s best for this country. I will never pretend that I do.
What I do know is that people are dying, so something has to change now, and we have to be the ones to lead it.